UNESCO agreement shows political costs

Submitted by Anonymous on January 30, 2006.English

Sanjoy Mahajan

The political costs to the US government of invading Iraq accumulate in
small and large ways.

City and national governments worldwide are slowly switching to the
free-software GNU/Linux operating system rather than pay tribute to
Microsoft. Some of that shift is due to Microsoft's licensing fees,
some of it to free software improving, but some is due to growing
distrust of US power.

Also partly thanks to the Iraq war, American culture -- as seen in
pro-war political conventions, "Freedom Fries", violent movies, people
starving in New Orleans -- is held in low esteem worldwide. So a large
majority of UNESCO, with only the US and Israel opposed, has approved
the "Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of
Cultural Expressions." Even Britain supported it. The Independent
article highlights this extreme isolation in its first sentence:

Not for the first time, the United States has found itself in almost
total isolation in an international body...

Shades of the UNESCO battles of the 1970's and 1980's over global
information flows, perhaps not coincidentally after worldwide revulsion
towards the Vietnam war.

The US government of course is shedding crocodile tears because:

repressive regimes could use it to justify "measures that would
interfere with human rights and fundamental freedoms".

Meaning the human right to consume rubbish from Hollywood and lies from

I'll be interested to see how, and whether, this vote is reported by the
US 'culture' industry.


`A society of sheep must in time beget a government of wolves.'
- Bertrand de Jouvenal